Stockholm in Cinema by Aidan Ryan

It comes as no surprise that movies have the ability to alter one’s viewpoint. From propaganda films during World War II to comedies designed to model a hypothetical scenario, every film is art that shows a specific viewpoint. Hollywood has tremendous amounts of power when it comes to altering the view of the mind’s eye. Films convey messages that would otherwise seem terrible to viewers. Instead of focusing on these subliminal messages, I want to unmask a kind of conspiracy centered on Los Angeles, a conspiracy that is centered on one key idea: Stockholm syndrome.

Stockholm Syndrome is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when  "strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other." In this case, Hollywood is beating fake-looking CGI into our innocent and impressionable eyes. This latest generation of “blockbusters” is especially guilty, with pop culture movies for the general population being at the forefront. Movies especially popular with teenagers, the next generation of movie ticket buyers, are being made with exceedingly low quality CGI ('The Amazing Spiderman 2', 'The Maze Runner', 'Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters', I even had qualms with the bridge scene of 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'). This is mental conditioning on the scale of entire nations. Like dogs, our generation is being slowly exposed to worse and worse levels of CG, as production companies export work to India and China to save money. This will enable bad CGI to not be what is perceived as ‘bad’ in the future. Granted, there have been major successes in CGI, with major credit going to anything that is affiliated with Legendary Pictures, such as 'Godzilla' and 'Pacific Rim', and other movies, like 'Life of Pi', but are these really that much better than 'Jurassic Park' or 'Terminator 2'? 24 years ago, in 1991, 'Terminator 2' was released, and audiences were blown away with the T-1000s liquid-metal-shapeshifting ability. That same year, a CG dinosaur skeleton captured the attention of big shots at Fox. Two years later, skin was wrapped around those bones, and that skin was blowing audiences’ minds in theaters and revolutionizing special effects as we knew them. Why is it that, 24 years later, those CG dinosaurs still hold up against the likes of the lizard king himself, 'Godzilla'? Granted, 'Jurassic Park' used a combination of CG and practical dinosaurs, but the CG, if anything, moves and looks truer to life. Technology has advanced so much in 20 years; we now have insane amounts of computing power in our very own pockets. Despite these advancements, movies are starting to lose their CG touch. The fact of the matter is, directors and effects artists are selling themselves out. What used to be art created by masters is now being created by hundreds, sometimes thousands, of “artists” who each work on a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a scene. What made the 4 minutes of CG dinosaurs in 'Jurassic Park' so special was the love of the art that went in behind them. Men like Steve Williams devoted their lives towards providing their art for the masses. They devoted countless hours (10 hours per frame of rendering alone, plus 4 months to animate just the way a T-Rex’s legs moved… you get the picture) bringing these terrifying characters to life, and in doing so they brought the story to life with them.

The main problem is the lack of respect for film as a medium for the expression of one’s beliefs, or a medium by which a story can be told. It appears that Hollywood is cutting corners and outsourcing to maximize profits (what else is new), and in doing so, the spirit of film is lost.

 

Questions, comments, or want to gripe? Email me at aidan.ryan@devotiontocinemacom. 

 

© 2015 Aidan Ryan